Friday, June 12, 2009

My Journey With Jane

This picture is of "THE" Dear Jane Quilt.
This is not a picture of my quilt.

“In War Time 1863 - Pieces 5602 - Jane M. Stickle” is painstakingly embroidered on the lower right hand corner of the quilt. This quilt masterpiece is now housed in the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont. It comprises 225 pieced squares, triangles, and corner "kites." Many of the blocks contain pieces no larger than 1/4-inch square. Jane's completed quilt measures 80 1/4" x 80 1/4" and contains 5,602 individual pieces.
The Stickle quilt was made famous by Brenda Papadakis, who lovingly studied the quilt and drafted patterns for each of the intricate blocks. The patterns were made into a book and thousands of quilters across the world have re-created (or attempted to re-create) this quilt.

Given the fact that the quilt was finished in 1863, I would assume that Jane completely hand-pieced her quilt, no doubt without the very tools that today’s quilter deems necessary. In addition, today’s piecing methods do not always work for the blocks in this quilt. The journey becomes a learning experience in hand piecing, foundation piecing, miniature machine piecing, applique, etc. In fact, I soon learned that a combination of all of these methods and “what ever works” is the mind-set that is needed to complete each block!

It also becomes necessary to SLOW DOWN, enjoy the PROCESS instead of the RESULT and to become very good friends with your seam ripper!

My journey with Jane’s quilt started in 2005. I completed about 20 of the little 4 ½ in blocks, became frustrated and threw the whole mess in a box.

I came across these litle blocks the other day and decided that there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t do just ONE little block a day - or even a week - but I did need to give this project another try! I also hope my piecing has improved enough in the last few years that I will be more successful and less frustrated!

In reviewing some of the hundreds of blogs and websites devoted to this quilt and the methods most likely to be successful in recreating the block, I see a LOT of applique. I HATE applique. I actually think I hate applique because I'm not good at it. So, I shall learn!

1 comment:

  1. I don't care for applique either, but have "discovered" raw-edge machine buttonhole stitch to do a lot of my DJ blocks. Good luck with your journey and I agree -- do what works!